The power of the HubSpot cloud platform demonstrated by new partners showing their wares at INBOUND
There was a lot of buzz at this year’s INBOUND conference and for good reason. HubSpot is now in use by more than 64,000 organizations – growth continues apace – and there’s little reason to believe that pace will slow down anytime soon. There is a number of factors driving growth, including expanded functionality, with the Sales Hub becoming a more mature product and Service Hub workable for many entrepreneur-scale organizations. The flywheel is really beginning to spin. In particular, we see integration among these products and other systems as a powerful driver of growth for our clients and another accelerant of growth at HubSpot.
The rapidly expanding customer base and well-behaved and -documented API attract ever more SaaS companies that want to grow with HubSpot. The exhibit floor at INBOUND offered a chance to speak with some of these companies, and I thought it might be valuable to share some insights gained from the firms I spoke with. It’s important to note that there are more than 100 companies that offer some level of integration with HubSpot, so this is only one INBOUND attendee’s view.
Telephony was clearly a focus, with two partners exhibiting on the floor – OnSip’s sayso and Dialpad Talk are great examples of extending the functionality of Sales and Service Hubs.
sayso from OnSip offers video and voice chat that takes the chat experience in a different direction from HubSpot itself or add-ons like Drift. By focusing on human interaction, it aims to increase the effectiveness of the chat from the user’s point of view. This distinction is important; as much as I like the ability of a robot to handle transactional support tasks, when I want to learn something they are always less efficient than human communications.
Dialpad is perhaps known best for its UberConference product, and it’s not alone in adding telephony to a conference pedigree (see Zoom). But its integration with HubSpot was on display and impressed me because it solves a real-world limitation we’ve seen with sales: the inability to take inbound calls. Enabling the sales force to place and receive calls from their devices (desktop SIP phone, mobile or PC) and instantly update the HubSpot CRM is a game-changer and extends one of the selling points we use when discussing Sales Hub: it takes less effort than any other CRM for salespeople to create the data sales management seeks. There are other VoIP systems that integrate with HubSpot, too, so check the directory for more options.
Integration was also a theme from vendors and service providers (and figures in almost all our HubSpot implementations these days). Workato offers a visual integration tool that also lets you dig in and create very advanced integrations between cloud platforms. This advanced capability comes at something of a cost in terms of training/learning curve to be comfortable using the platform. A deep example of this is in the case of needing to combine or pull apart data fields in what it calls “data transformation.” While not exhibiting at INBOUND, we’re currently managing an integration of Chargify and HubSpot using Cyclr, and it shares many of the advanced features of Workato. Other tools we’ve worked with don’t offer bi-directional sync or the complete level of control that’s possible with these two tools, though that may not be enough of a reason to choose Workato over simpler tools like Zapier or Bedrock Data (recently renamed and purchased by FormStack).
There were also some interesting startups — worthy of mention:
Hugo is a meetings app that lets you take meeting notes and integrate with your tech stack. It’s a great way to centralize knowledge for today’s distributed workplace.
Impresso offers powerful video editing on your mobile device with a PC/Mac app coming soon. I was surprised at how fast it worked on a phone, as video editing is often a real slog on a desktop.
Frase is a new kind of search engine that makes your content available via natural language Q&A, and adds to its database as queries are processed. Accelerates discovery in a friendly way and might help accelerate sales, too.
This is what stood out to me as a conference attendee. There are dozens of great apps in the HubSpot marketplace. What are your favorites? Please comment below.
If you need help integrating HubSpot with e-commerce or other systems, please contact us or book a meeting with me to discuss your situation. If we can’t help, I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.